Last Thursday I had lunch at a restaurant that is an Ypsilanti staple—Sidetrack Bar and Grill. I remembered that last year Sidetrack had an incredible summer menu, so I went back to see what type of seasonal-inspired food they had for this summer.
When I arrived at Sidetrack at 2 p.m., I was seated immediately inside the cozy front dining room. The molded ceilings and dark wood accents gave the restaurant an antique feeling, and the decorations on the walls really showed Sidetrack’s sense of humor. My favorite piece to look at was the large moose head on the far wall wearing a small bowler cap.
As I sat waiting to meet Sidetrack’s manager, Jessica Jane French, to talk about the summer menu, many different employees came to check on me and make sure that I was comfortable. They made sure that I had something to drink and that Jessica knew I was there.
I looked over the specials menu of the day and saw enticing entrees like the pulled pork sandwich or the chicken salad sandwich. It was hard to decide what I wanted to eat.
At this point, I started noticing the prices on the menu to see how reasonable this restaurant would be for a college student. I was shocked when I saw that nothing on the specials list or menu was above $10.
When Jessica came over to give me an overview of Sidetrack’s summer specials, she told me about how the restaurant makes everything from scratch and how they use only the best ingredients.
She prepared a plate for me that was a sampling of their popular summer menu items. I had a large plate full of egg salad, chicken salad, coleslaw, avocado dip and chips and some barbecue pulled pork in front me. I couldn’t wait to start eating.
I dug into the pulled pork first. I loved the delicious, house-made barbecue sauce, which tasted a little spicy and a little sweet. They use roasted pork loin for their pulled pork sandwich, which makes the meat very tender.
Sidetrack’s BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich comes with your choice of regular or sweet potato fries and coleslaw for $8.95.
I moved on to the egg salad, which French said is organic. I thought that it was great that they are using organic ingredients in their food. More and more people are looking for organic menu items and it is good that Sidetrack is keeping in touch with their customers.
When I tasted the egg salad it was creamy and flavorful. There were green onions and celery in the salad that worked well with the eggs. Sidetrack serves their egg salad on whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato, and your choice of regular or sweet potato fries for $7.95.
When I started eating the chicken salad, I was very impressed. The dressing on the chicken was delicious, and the onions and celery accents in the salad were a great addition. Often in chicken salad, the chicken can get a little gooey or soggy, but it didn’t have this problem at all. The meat was moist and still perfectly chewy.
Next, I tasted the coleslaw, which was made up of the traditional mix of lettuce, carrots and red onions. I really enjoyed the tangy dressing that was on the slaw.
Jessica told me that Sidetrack makes many batches of their avocado dip throughout the day, so it’s always fresh. When I scooped some of the smooth dip onto one of the corn chips and took a bite, I was blown away by how fresh it was. The avocado, onions and tomatoes in the dip were full of flavor.
Ypsilanti is lucky to have Sidetrack Bar and Grill. They serve fresh meals for a reasonable price and they have great service. It’s already a staple for Ypsilanti, but should be a staple for Eastern Michigan University students too.
Sidetrack Bar and Grill is located at 56 E. Cross Street in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town, and is open Monday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. 734-483-1490. www.sidetrackbarandgrill.com
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